Girl Waits With Gun: Q&A With Amy Stewart

Girl Waits With GunAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2016 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus material about our Bluestocking BAM selection to enrich your reading experience—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)

We’ve been fans of author Amy Stewart for years; when Bas Bleu featured her book The Drunken Botanist, she even created a cocktail just for us—the delicious Bluestocking’s Crush. So of course we snatched up her debut novel, Girl Waits With Gun, as soon as it hit our shelves. A fictional take on the true story of America’s first female deputy sheriff, this novel has it all: nuanced characters, family secrets, mystery, gangsters, humor, danger…and, yes, one amazing girl with a gun. Recently, Amy took a break from her busy national book tour to talk about her heroine Constance Kopp, separating fact from fiction, and even her take on the 1910s cocktail the Automobile. Continue reading

May 2015 Book a Month: More Home Cooking

More Home CookingAs part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus materials to enrich your reading experience—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)

During her all-too-brief lifetime, Laurie Colwin penned five novels and three short-story collections, yet it is her food writing—many of the essays originally published in Gourmet magazine—that continues to burnish Colwin’s literary legacy two decades after her death. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Christmas Cookies!

VeryMerryCookiePartyFrom time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

The holiday season is in full swing, and to celebrate, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff gathered on a chilly December afternoon to bake Christmas cookies. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Fresh Goat Cheese and Basil Clafoutis

Food Lovers Guide to Paris

Gianluca Tamorri/Food Lover’s Guide to Paris

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

If you’ve ever dreamed of eating your way across Paris, we’ve got your map right here. The New Food Lover’s Guide to Paris gives travelers a local’s knowledge of more than 450 restaurants, cafés, markets, and specialty food shops hidden throughout the City of Light. It’s a treasure trove of culinary information, made all the richer by the fact that author and veteran food critic Patricia Wells sprinkled fifty mouthwatering recipes throughout the guide. On our menu this week: this delectable clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”). A traditional clafoutis is a baked cherry tart, but Wells’s savory version is made with goat cheese and fresh summer basil instead.  Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

365 Slow Cooker Suppers

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

Winter is here, and with it comes the instinct to hibernate under blankets with a good book, a hot beverage (wine works too), and plenty of junk food. But as much as we’d like to carbo-load our way through the cold season with potato chips, pasta, and pizza, that wouldn’t be our healthiest decision of the shiny new year. So what’s a bluestocking to do when motivation is low but dinner still needs to be made?

Break out the slow cooker! Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Sangria Prawns

book cover

From time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

If you’re like us, you are destined, most weeks of the year, to be an armchair traveler, exploring exotic locales and cultures in the pages of your favorite books. Cookbooks serve as particularly excellent literary “passports,” and Tori Haschka’s A Suitcase and a Spatulain which the Australian-born food and travel writer shares her favorite recipes from around the world—is no exception. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: The Bluestocking’s Crush

Drunken Botanist coverFrom time to time, Bas Bleu’s editorial staff “samples” recipes from cookbooks and other culinary guides found in our catalog. Our efforts are amateur at best: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the tendency to scatter flour everywhere. But we know delicious when we taste it, and if you try your hand at these recipes we think you’ll agree!

Among the new offerings in Bas Bleu’s Summer 2013 issue is The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Greatest Drinks. Our reviewer praises it as “a deliciously entertaining blend of science, history, and mixology” and “a must-read for curious gardeners, home bartenders, and anyone who enjoys a good cocktail.” Here at the Bluestocking Salon, we count ourselves as all three…but especially as people who enjoy a good cocktail!

So we were honored when author Amy Stewart volunteered to create a special drink just for Bas Bleu. Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Langues-de-Chat

Julias Cats coverCookbooks and other food writings have long been a staple of the Bas Bleu catalog. After all, if there’s one thing we like better than reading, it’s eating! So from time to time in the Bluestocking Salon, we’ll be “sampling” a recipe from one of our recent culinary offerings.

Fair warning: If you’re looking for advanced epicurean know-how or glossy food photography, you’re about to be disappointed. We’re humble home cooks, you see, like (most of) you—eternally pressed for time, with non-matching cookware and the infuriating tendency to scatter flour everywhere. To see how it’s really done, you should ask the experts. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy our amateur culinary adventures. And if you try out any of these recipes for yourself, please report back to us!

First up: Julia Child’s Recipe for Langues-de-Chat (Cat’s Tongue Cookies), from customer-favorite Julia’s Cats by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson. Continue reading